Chivalric Fighting Arts Association

I am happy to announce the launch of the CFAA, a fraternal organisation of like-minded historical martial arts schools bound by common interests and in support of one another. I have included the launch text posted to Sword Forum International below.

Let it Be Known to all Who Profess the Art of Arms that we send Greetings and a Declaration of Fraternity:

Wherefore, the Art of Defence has also been known as the Knightly Art, and its study has instilled the virtues of Prowess, Courage, Justice, Loyalty, Courtesy, Humility, Largesse, Franchise, and Faith in its adherents;

Wherefore we share a dedication to not only the revival of the fighting arts of the past, but to insuring their transmission to the future;

And wherefore we also hold a deep and sincere belief that the study and practice of these arts is a tool for building character and personal discipline;

We have therefore come together to form the Chivalric Fighting Arts Association (CFAA); an international organization of schools and clubs devoted to the study of historical European martial arts, particularly those practiced in a chivalric context, used in war, the tournament, and the duel.

Just as there are many different approaches to the study of Asia martial arts, over the last decade this has become true within the Western martial arts community as well. Just as classical Jujutsu, Judo and BJJ may have common roots, techniques, and even uniforms, but possess very different emphasis and training goals, so too are there now WMA scholars whose principal interest is national pride and cultural preservation, others focused on the development of a modern combat sport, and others who focus on those elements that have pragmatic application in the modern world.

As the CFAA’s name suggests, our members’ interest is in these Arts as traditional martial arts. We define “traditional” as a focus on:

• Fidelity to the historic treaties;
• Study of our Arts within their cultural context;
• Study of and respect for the ethical milieus in which the Arts were born;
• Emphasis on honorable behavior amongst and between students and teacher alike;
• A belief that, while, competition is a worthy tool that serves to refine our understanding of the Arts, the Arts are not a tool to foster modern competitions.

We see ourselves as caretakers of an ancient heritage, and therefore the texts are the single most relevant and authoritative word on the arts we strive to reconstruct. Therefore, member schools are encouraged to apply themselves to these books with a high level of philological passion–a passion that has, in the space of a few short decades, brought to light so much reliable information about how our ancestors fought.

Equally as important is the respect for the spirit of chivalry and honorable behavior that were part of the ethical milieu in which our arts blossomed. All ethical systems, from Stoicism to Daoism, Zen to Chivalry always exist in idealized forms, but we believe that the importance lies is in the striving for these ideals. This includes favoring the scientific process of scholarship over the stubbornness of ego, healthy emulation to petty rivalry, acknowledgment of your instructor over teaching his labor as your own, and frankness and openness over squabbling and needless politicking.

We respect all other serious approaches to the study of historical martial arts, but it is our belief that this emphasis on tradition, culture and ethics is what separates a martial art from simply being a combat sport or self-defense. Those disciplines are worthy in their own right, and find a place amongst us, but the common philosophy of our member schools centers on fidelity to the arts as they were originally wielded and recorded, the spirit of chivalry in which those treatises were conceived, and the keeping these ideals alive in the study of our arts – qualities that we believe can be of benefit to the modern world as much as they were for the ancient one.

Therefore, in service to the Art of Arms and in respect to our Forbearers, we are –

Christian Henry Tobler, Selohaar Fechtschule
Devon Boorman, Academie Duello
Stefan Dieke, Alte Kampfkunst
Gregory Mele, Chicago Swordplay Guild
Terry Brown, The Company of Maisters
Mark Lancaster, The Exiles
Bob Charrette, Forteza Historical Swordwork Guild
Dierk Hagedorn & Roland Warzecha, Hammaborg
Bob Brooks, Hotspur School of Defence
Claus Sørensen, Laurentiusgildet
Jason Smith, Les Maître D’armes
Sean Hayes, Northwest Fencing Academy
Tom Leoni, Order of the Seven Hearts
Puck Curtis, Mary Dill Curtis, Kevin Murakoshi & Eric Myers, Sacramento Sword School
Guy Windsor, School of European Swordsmanship
Scott Wilson, Southern Academy of Swordsmanship
Bill Grandy, Virginia Academy of Fencing (Historical Swordsmanship Division)

Christian Henry Tobler